Shadow Warriors Book Review

  This is a very well written book on Ireland’s Special Forces, the Army Ranger Wing. It is a detailed chronology of the formation and life of the ARW since its inception and the various different theatres in which they have served. In the midst of growing national and international terrorist threats, the authors describe the reasons for the need of such a unit to be formed. The book states the various different roles that the ARW perform and lists in detail the equipment they use and how and why they use that particular kind.

  The authors, right from the outset, inform us that this is not going to be the gun-toting, helicopter flying, flash-banging type of book that society has come to expect from Special Forces literature. Instead, it is more poised, secretive tale, while telling the reader about the ARW, it doesn’t give too much away. In doing this, the authors have maintained the secrecy of the Unit.

  The last section of the book should be particularly appealing to people who aspire to join Ireland’s elite military unit. It gives a comprehensive account of the physical training that one should go through before attempting to apply for the ARW Special Operations Force Qualification Course (SOFQ). It also breaks down what is expected of each candidate and what they will go through when on the course (minus the physical and mental fatigue).

  In short, in an age of growing interest in Irish military affairs, this book gives the reader a peek into the world of Ireland’s Special Forces unit, the Army Ranger Wing, their training, roles, equipment and service history but all the while keep us guessing and wanting more. As such, we don’t get an abundance of testosterone-filled, edge of your seat type stories from their missions around the world, but in doing so the book lives up to its title Shadow Warriors. You know they’re there but you can’t make out too much more.


Shadow Warriors

Private Joseph Walsh, from Tipperary KIA in Battle of Kohima, Burma 1944

#OnThisDay 1944 Private Joseph Walsh from Drangan, Tipperary was killed in action at the Battle of Kohima, Burma (Now Myanmar). Serving with the 4th Bn Royal West Kent Reg (the CO John Laverty was also Irish), Walsh was hit by a Japanese artillery shell & killed outright. (The CWGC states he died in 1941 but eye witness accounts have Walsh being killed as described above in 1944).

Kohima 1944